AWOL Inmates Back In Custody

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

Inmates going AWOL in Dane county is not an uncommon occurence.

In this case, one man turned himself in, but the other is back in custody after being arrested during a domestic disturbance.

Adolfo Ortiz and Antonio Villanueva were both out applying for jobs today and didn't come back.

Ortiz is serving time for battery, Villanueva is in jail for burglary.

A judge determines whether to send someone to jail or prison.

If they go to jail, it's up to the sheriff's department to decide whether they get Huber privileges.

Out of the 1,000 inmates under the sheriff's custody, Sheriff Dave Mahoney says less than half have huber privileges.

"We have approximately 413 inmates who have the ability to either go out to work each day because they have a job or they go out in the community to seek out education. So out of that number of inmates, today we had two that didn't come back."

Mahoney says inmates who pose a threat to the community are not granted work release.

But in the past, registered sex offenders have walked away from jail after being given Huber privileges.

Mahoney says overall, the Huber release system works, but says we need to address the prison overpopulation by other means as well.

That could mean more bracelet monitoring, an idea that has taken off in other Wisconsin cities.

A proposed new Huber center in the current county transporation building is on hold after neighbors expressed concern about the relative freedom of inmates housed there.

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